Taking up the challenge

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Establishing principles

The principles behind designing activities for learning in a technology-rich context have been discussed in Effective Practice with e-Learning, JISC (2004). For practitioners planning to use mobile and wireless learning, decision-making will still be based on the key elements of the learner, the learning environment and the learning outcome, and the dynamic interaction between these elements.

However, it may be the case that mobile and wireless technologies offer particular benefits in supporting learners' own personal routes to conceptual understanding or skills acquisition. This is especially the case where mobile devices can link to a wireless network or to the internet. Designing activities which provide opportunities for personalised learning - for example in the place, time or frequency of access to learning materials, is a challenge that practitioners now need to address. Implementation of such activities on a wider scale is a challenge for the institution as a whole.

A table in the next section summarises ways in which mobile and wireless technologies can support more active and personalised learning experiences within a range of approaches to learning.

When designing activities for mobile and wireless learning, it is important to consider whether:

  • The activity, and use of technology within it, will support personal routes to learning goals.
  • Practitioners have understanding of learner-centred pedagogies.
  • Practice based on mobile technologies can be adequately supported.
  • Staff development in the associated technical and pedagogical skills is available, or is planned.